Month: January 2017

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell Joins THE HERD

Watch Goodell’s full interview on THE HERD here:

Goodell on why he didn’t attend the AFC Championship Game (CLIP):
We had two great games. I was in Boston two years ago for the Divisional and the Championship games. I try to get to as many stadiums as I can, but you know we had two great games. You’ve got to choose, and frankly the focus should be on the players, the coaches and the great game. That’s the way it was this weekend, and that’s the way it should be.

Goodell on his relationship with New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft:
I wouldn’t be doing my job if somebody wasn’t unhappy with a decision that you make or where you’re doing it. Robert and I can disagree about things – we have a healthy respect for one another, but that’s true with any owner. That doesn’t affect my relationship or the fact that we work together to try to make the NFL better, ultimately. That’s the most important thing for us. I can’t agree with everybody at every moment, and I shouldn’t. You know, a lot of these issues can be issues between teams. We, obviously, in many cases have to discipline our clubs. That’s part of the process, and we do that with a large number of our clubs when there are violations of policy. But it’s not personal; it’s professional and it’s to make sure we’re doing everything to protect the great game we have and promote it.

Goodell on if handing the Lombardi trophy to Tom Brady might be uncomfortable (CLIP):
Not for a second. This is one of the great opportunities – we have two dominant teams playing in the Super Bowl. The Patriots and the Falcons have both earned the opportunity to be there – they deserve it – and whoever wins that championship is going to have to earn it because these are great teams, so I’m going to be thrilled. Tom Brady is one of the all-time greats; he has been for several years. He’s on the precipice of at least potentially winning his fifth Super Bowl ring. He’s an extraordinary player, a great performer and a sure-fire Hall of Famer, so it’d be an honor.

Goodell says the NFL has taken a less punitive approach to marijuana:
We’ve had several conversations about this issue and, in fact, two years ago we did take a less punitive approach to marijuana. This is part of it. This is a collective drug program that we have with the Players Association and the NFL. And we’ll always seek to try to find a better way to do things and to see if the policy needs to be modified, as we did two years ago. That will be one of the subjects obviously that we’ll have in the collective bargaining process, which we would like to get into sooner rather than later.

Goodell address safety concerns surrounding Thursday Night Football:
“On safety, we’ve been tracking this every year, and there has not been any, any indication, facts or anything else that would indicate that the level of injuries are up on Thursday night. Of course, playing a game like football you’re going to be sore the next morning. Yes, of course, we always take that into consideration, and that’s one of the things why we walked very slowly into this as we built Thursday Night Football. We started off with eight games, and we’ve built it up. And it’s something we’ll continue to look at – how do we do the scheduling, as an example. Should we have people flying on Sunday night, returning and then playing away on Thursday?

“We try to do whatever we can to make sure we give those players the opportunity to recover from any injuries or even the normal contact that they’re going to have in a game. But also, we hear a lot, and this came up in our negotiations in 2011, that a lot of the players really like it because you have 10 days afterward before the next game, and so it acts as a sort of ‘mini-bye’ was I think the term that was used. So, there are a lot of things you have to balance in there.”


Daniel Cormier and Kenny Florian

Cormier Picks Pena: “Her Forward Pressure and Pace Will Be Too Much For Shevchenko.”

Florian Picks Shevchenko: “Shevchenko is better on her feet than Pena, and improving her wrestling game.”

LOS ANGELES, CA – On UFC TONIGHT, hosts Kenny Florian, Daniel Cormier and guest host Miesha Tate preview the upcoming FOX UFC FIGHT NIGHT: SHEVCHENKO VS. PENA. The crew also catches up with headliner Julianna Pena, as well as Donald Cerrone and Jorge Masvidal about their co-main event. Plus, Karyn Bryant adds reports.

UFC TONIGHT host Daniel Cormier on his upcoming title defense at UFC 210: “I will be defending the light heavyweight championship on April 8 at UFC 210. I get to go in there and fold up Rumble Johnson like a nice load of laundry. No wrestling. I’m standing up with Rumble Johnson. You say you’re going to knock me – prove it to me on April 8th. I’ll be waiting for you. I’m going to stand with this dude. What’s the worst that can happen?”

UFC TONIGHT guest host Miesha Tate on how Valentina Shevchenko needs to fight Julianna Pena: “Valentina is a master at controlling distance. She needs to keep Pena at distance with her strikes. She’s great in the clinch, has great takedowns and has five submission victories, so she can win on the ground as well.”

Cormier on Valentina Shevchenko’s skills: “She’s a very high-level and diverse fighter. She will embarrass you. She made Holly chase her and countered her the whole night. She strikes in a number of different ways. She is very dangerous.”

UFC TONIGHT host Kenny Florian on Pena: “She’s nasty and mean. She’s a high-pressure fighter. Her striking has improved. She will use hands and kicks to set up takedowns.”

Cormier on Julianna Pena’s skills: “Julianna Pena maybe the nastiest fighter in the UFC across all divisions. She wants to swarm you, push you.”

Tate on Pena desire to win: “She is so tenacious, hungry and obsessed. She eats, sleeps and lives MMA. She’s going to stop at nothing to win this fight. She wants to gets arms around her opponent, get it to the ground, and she shines and gets a submission.”

Cormier on how Pena beats Shevchenko: “Her forward pressure and pace will be too much for Shevchenko.”

Tate picks Pena to win: “She’s a beast. She’s going to take this fight to the ground and finish her. She packs a punch. Every punch is with knockout power.”

Florian picks Shevchenko to win: “I think this is a tougher style matchup than a lot of people think. Shevchenko is better on her feet than Pena, and improving her wrestling game, which she’ll need. I think she gets the upset by decision.”

VIDEO: StrikeZone and Predictions: FOX UFC FIGHT NIGHT: Shevchenko vs. Pena

Julianna Pena on if this is a striker vs. grappler matchup with Shevchenko: “I don’t think that. She’s strong and well-rounded everywhere. You’ve got to believe in your strengths. I can fight on my feet, in the clinch and on the ground. Wherever it goes, I’m comfortable.”

Pena on how she got this fight: “Valentina had been calling me out. I went in to Dana’s office and asked for this fight. I want to fight the best in the world. I’m very grateful and humble and excited to show you what I’ve been working on.”

Pena on if she thought Rousey would lose like she did: “I predicted she was going to get knocked out and she did. So I looked like a genius. She was a bully and was rude to me in the house on TUF. She killed the little kid’s dreams. I had a bad experience with her from day one. I think she’s not a very nice person. I’d love to fight her one day.”

VIDEO: Interview: Julianna Pena thinks Ronda Rousey is a bully

Cormier on Donald Cerrone’s strengths: “He throws his punches and kicks in excellent combinations. He’s at home in the Octagon. You don’t find people who just flat out enjoy fighting like Donald Cerrone. He’s a tough fighter.”

Florian on Masvidal’s best weapon against Cerrone: “The most underrated aspect of Jorge’s game is his wrestling. If he wants to hit a takedown at the end of a round, he can do it. He’s slick with his hands and is an excellent pressure fighter.”

Donald Cerrone on why Masvidal was mad at him: “I don’t understand. It’s not my fault when the UFC is looking for a last-minute replacement and his name isn’t in the raffle to come up when they need short-notice fighters? Maybe you need to win more fights. The only reason he has the fight is I called Dana three times to get this fight. You’re welcome, you get your paycheck.”

Cerrone on if Masvidal out-wrestled him when they trained together: “I don’t even remember the dude. I don’t remember training with him. I’m a terrible wrestler. I’m sure he took me down. That’s probably true.”

Cerrone on if he’ll still fight at 155: “Yeah, I’ll go back. Why not? I love fighting. They just have to call the bat phone and I’ll take the fight.”

Cerrone on how close he is to a shot at the welterweight title: “I guess I have to wait for the guys on March 4 to see who wins. I will just have to fight March 4 and then fight the winner of the other fight for the title.”

VIDEO: Interview: Donald Cerrone – Not my fault I was offered Jorge Masvidal’s fights, he should win more

Jorge Masvidal on why he’s going to beat Cerrone: “He ain’t got what I got – the guts and glory. The mental aspect – he doesn’t have the mindset. I don’t get discouraged in there. If it’s a fight, I’m there for a fight.”

Masvidal on why he’s been calling for the fight with Cerrone: “Cowboy took food from my plate twice. Twice I had fights with top-ten ranked opponents and for some reason, those got given to Cowboy instead. Imagine you’re going to fight a top-ranked opponent and it gets taken away from you? You want to hurt someone and I’m going to hurt somebody, and that’s Cowboy, and he’s going to pay with interest.”

Masvidal on what a win Saturday night will get him: “One step closer to the title. That’s all I chase. I’m not going to sleep until I get that title. As long as I’m here and my heart is beating, that’s my one goal – to get that title.”

Masvidal on what it would be like to beat Cerrone in his home town: “It wouldn’t be the first time I’ve done that. I know the feeling and it’s a great feeling. I love to fight. It doesn’t matter whose backyard, I’m there to fight. I started fighting in people’s backyards.”

VIDEO: Interview: Jorge Masvidal: Cerrone has to pay for what he did, with interest

Cormier on how title fights should get awarded: “If it’s a sport, it should be based on your performance in the Octagon. I don’t want to hear about popularity. Win and you get the title shot.”

Tate on how fighters can get to title fights: “It’s 50/50. We’re athletes and we’re entertainers. You have to win fights and entertain while you do it.”

Florian on how title fights should be awarded: “DC got a title shot off a loss, because he’s a popular fighter. There needs to be a balance between entertainment and sport.”

VIDEO: Daniel Cormier announces his next fight

Super Bowl LI on FOX

Super Bowl LI on FOX Broadcast Guide

This broadcast guide has been prepared to assist you with your coverage of Super Bowl LI on FOX, Sunday, Feb. 5, live from NRG Stadium in Houston, and is accurate as of Jan. 24, 2017. The FOX Sports Communications staff is available to assist you with the latest information, photography and interview requests between now and game day. For bios, photography and additional information, visit the Super Bowl LI page on FOX Sports Press Pass

Super Bowl LI on FOX Broadcast Guide (2 MB, last updated February 2017)
Greg Jennings

Super Bowl Champion Greg Jennings Joins FOX Sports

NFL Analyst Contributes to FOX Sports Studio Programming

LOS ANGELES, CA – With Super Bowl LI on FOX just around the corner, FOX Sports is making a major addition to its NFL roster. Super Bowl XLV champion Greg Jennings has joined the network as an NFL analyst, contributing to a number of FOX Sports studio shows. Jennings’ arrival is just in time for SUPER BOWL WEEK on FS1, an unprecedented slate of ancillary programming originating live from Houston’s Discovery Green during the week leading up to the big game.

Today on SKIP AND SHANNON: UNDISPUTED, Skip Bayless made the announcement and welcomed Jennings to FOX Sports.

“We’ve been fortunate to have Greg on as a guest across many of our studio shows and have been incredibly impressed by his insight and ability to speak on a wide variety of topics,” said Whit Albohm, Vice President, Daily Studio Production for FS1. “His lengthy playing career and deep connections to the NFL make him an incredible asset to our team, and we are thrilled to have him at FOX Sports.”

Drafted in 2006 by the Green Bay Packers, Jennings immediately found success on the gridiron and was named to the 2006 PFWA NFL All-Rookie Team. His early accolades foreshadowed a successful NFL career, highlighted by his integral role in the Packers’ Super Bowl XLV victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers at the close of the 2010 season. Jennings recorded four receptions for 64 yards and scored two touchdowns in the 31-25 showdown. A two-time Pro Bowler, Jennings recorded three consecutive seasons of 1,000+ receiving yards from 2008-10, and finished his 10-year career with 571 receptions for 8,291 yards and 64 touchdowns.

During his playing career, Jennings dipped a toe into television, appearing on episodes of Criminal Minds, Royal Pains and The League, in addition to traditional sports television outlets. Following his retirement, Jennings began making regular appearances on a variety of sports shows, including FS1’s UNDISPUTED, where his insightful analysis established an immediate rapport with co-hosts Bayless and Shannon Sharpe, as well as moderator Joy Taylor.

“I am very excited to join the FOX Sports family,” said Jennings. “They’ve built a talented and creative group of people, from executives to on-air personalities, with a shared mindset of creating great programming for viewers.”

Beyond the gridiron and small screen, he is deeply committed to the Greg Jennings Foundation, a private family foundation that partners with Michigan and Wisconsin organizations in educating youth by providing the necessary resources in order to help them reach their academic potential.

A native of Kalamazoo, Mich., Jennings attended Western Michigan University where he was a breakout star, becoming just the 11th player in NCAA Division I history to record three career 1,000-yard receiving seasons. He lives in Minneapolis with his wife Nicole, daughters Amya, Alea and Ayva, and son Aice.

Super Bowl Champion Greg Jennings Joins FOX Sports (114 kB, last updated February 2017)
Mike Joy, Larry McReynolds and Darrell Waltrip

FOX NASCAR On-Air Team Discusses New Enhanced Race Format

CHARLOTTE, NC – On Monday, NASCAR, in conjunction with industry stakeholders, announced an enhanced competition format for its three national series beginning with the 2017 season opener at Daytona International Speedway. Expected to produce more dramatic moments in each race from the green flag to the checkered flag, the new format offers playoff-point incentives that emphasize performance across every lap.

Below, the FOX NASCAR on-air team of play-by-play announcer Mike Joy, four-time NASCAR premier series champion Jeff Gordon, Hall of Famer and three-time series champ Darrell Waltrip and former crew chief Larry McReynolds offers reaction to the new format. The aforementioned group will call the DAYTONA 500, live on FOX, on Sunday, Feb. 26 (2:00 PM ET).

On initial reaction to the new format:

“I embrace the new format – not because FOX Sports, NASCAR or any driver asked me to. I truly like it. It may seem a little complicated on the surface, but the winner still takes the checkered flag, goes to Victory Lane and hoists the trophy. The premise behind the competition will not change. When the NBA added the three-point line, the basketball court was still the same size and the goal the same height. But the addition of the three-point line did change the game of basketball. When the NFL moved the location for the kicking of the extra point, the field remained at 100 yards and a field goal still paid three points, but the extra-point line movement was a bit of a game changer. I expect this to be a game changer because there is more at stake now. Playoff points are available throughout the race, and every move a driver makes can count. That carrot is dangling in front of a driver’s face from the green to the checkered flag all season long.”
–Larry McReynolds, FOX NASCAR analyst

“This new format is another step toward bringing racing in line with other professional sports. Football is played in quarters. Baseball is played in innings and hockey in periods. Fans of other sports are more familiar with this type of format. The idea of trying to get the viewer in front of a TV set for 500 miles of straight competition has proven difficult in this century. People are consuming sports differently than ever before, and every sport is discussing evolving to suit the target audience. This race-stage format provides a better alternative than shortening races, because fans will still get their money’s worth with just as much competition as previously.”
–Mike Joy, FOX NASCAR play-by-play announcer

“This is definitely going to enhance the experience of the competitors as well as the viewers and fans at home. Just being a part of this in that room, collaborating and hearing the different views and hearing everyone’s input from team principals, track operators and owners, drivers, NASCAR, networks, was a pretty amazing experience. What came out of it was this balance between what fans are asking for, what we can do to make the races even more exciting and make more moments, but also balancing out competition and what the competitors are going to go through. I think we came out with something really incredible. I had a new perspective last year being in the booth, so I’m really excited about getting back in the booth and calling the races with the stages.”
–Jeff Gordon, FOX NASCAR analyst (who played a large role in helping to develop the new format)

“It will be fun to watch the teams get their feet wet with this new format and figure out how to capitalize on it before the next guy does. Great minds are breaking it down right now, as they do anytime something new is introduced. What exactly that will look like, I doubt anyone knows yet. The new format will take a little adjustment for all of us – drivers, media and the crews. We’ve never done anything like this before, but different oftentimes turns out to be pretty exciting. I’m really looking forward to getting down to Daytona, putting this format into action, seeing what we have and who figures it out first.”
–Darrell Waltrip, FOX NASCAR analyst

On how FOX Sports’ approach to producing and calling a race could change with the now-natural breaks resulting from the new format’s different stages:

“FOX Sports’ approach to producing and calling a race could definitely change because stage breaks will help us spread out our storytelling, providing an opportunity to bring viewers up-to-speed on the race without looking away from the ongoing competition on the track. The best part of the breaks is they could enable us to reduce green-flag TV commercials by as much as 20-percent.”
–Mike Joy, FOX NASCAR play-by-play announcer (broadcasting his 42nd Daytona 500 this year)

“I like the idea of stage breaks. I’ve always been somewhat in favor of a ‘halftime break,’ for lack of a better term, like football and basketball have. No other professional sport runs the entire event without some type of interruption or break, so this puts NASCAR more in line with other pro sports.”
–Darrell Waltrip, FOX NASCAR analyst

“What’s going to happen (is) TV is going to coordinate with NASCAR in going to a commercial break to ensure the fans are going to commercial break when nothing is happening on the race track. When they come back from a commercial break, boom, cars are on pit road pitting. Go to a break, come back and we’re going to talk to the winner of that stage and the winning crew chief of that stage. And then we’re going to line these cars back up and go green-flag racing.”
–Jeff Gordon, FOX NASCAR analyst (who played a large role in helping to develop the new race format)

On possible strategy adjustments teams will have to make under the new format:

“Running races in stages will call for adjustments in pit strategy. Under a much older points system, Dave Marcis had a habit of running at least one really long stretch on a tank of fuel through green-flag pit stops to be credited with leading a lap worth five points. As a result, Dave finished higher in points at the end of the year. Running a race in stages sets the table for those kinds of strategies. It will be fun to get our arms around how teams deal with changes in their race day preparation and strategy. This is like moving the kickoff line back in football. Making that change required adjustments by the teams in their procedure. This is a tweak — not a wholesale change. Our hope is this increases the viewers’ enjoyment of the race and possibly how much of the race the average viewer watches.”
–Mike Joy, FOX NASCAR play-by-play announcer

On an increased sense of urgency and emphasis on aggressive racing the new format is expected to produce:

“I don’t think drivers weren’t racing hard in years past. That assumption is inaccurate and unfair. However, when you win the Daytona 500, for example, and have 25 regular-season races remaining before the Chase, a team and driver change their agenda to focus solely on the 10-race playoffs awaiting them. They aren’t racing any less intensely or giving less than 100-percent, but their focus is in a different place. With the new format, their agendas cannot change after a win because every point from every race counts once the playoffs start.”
–Larry McReynolds, FOX NASCAR analyst

On implementation of the race format enhancements across all three national series:
“I’m encouraged NASCAR is implementing this format for all three series because the more unified those three are, the better for the fans. In the Atlanta Falcons/Green Bay Packers game, Julio Jones caught a pass, and I had to quickly think, ‘Is it one foot or two feet in?’ It’s a little confusing because the rules are different between the NFL and college. So, the more we can follow the same system for all three national series, the better for the education and enjoyment of the fans.”
–Larry McReynolds, FOX NASCAR analyst


Daniel Cormier

Broadcasters Set for Saturday’s FOX UFC FIGHT NIGHT: SHEVCHENKO VS. PENA

UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Cormier Serves as Desk Analyst with No. 1-Ranked Bantamweight Cruz and No. 7-Ranked Strawweight Waterson

LOS ANGELES, CA – FOX Sports has set its broadcast team for UFC FIGHT NIGHT: SHEVCHENKO VS. PENA on FOX, FS1 and FOX Deportes on Saturday, Jan. 28 (8:00 PM ET). UFC light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier (@DC_MMA) works as analyst with former champion and current No. 1-ranked bantamweight Dominick Cruz (@DominickCruz) FOX Sports desk in Denver for Friday and Saturday’s coverage. Curt Menefee (@CurtMenefee) is desk host for the FOX shows, while Todd Grisham (@GrishamMMA) joins the desk crew as host on the FS1 programs along with additional analyst No. 7-ranked strawweight Michelle Waterson (@karatehottiemma). Reporter Megan Olivi (@MeganOlivi) interviews fighters on-site.

Retired middleweight Brian Stann (@BrianStann) joins blow-by-blow announcer Jon Anik (@Jon_Anik) to call the fights live from Denver. Plus, UFC bantamweight Erik “Goyito” Perez (@Goyito_Perez) and Victor Davila (@mastervic10) are the Spanish language broadcast team on FOX Deportes.

FOX UFC FIGHT NIGHT: SHEVCHENKO VS. PENA is headlined by No. 1-ranked Valentina “Bullet” Shevchenko (13-2) and No. 2 “The Venezuelan Vixen” Julianna Pena (9-2) in a five-round main event bout. The two bantamweight contenders are looking for a win to secure a shot at the title.

“These are two of the scariest women in the division,” says FOX UFC analyst Kenny Florian. “Shevchenko is a world champion in Muay Thai and a devastating leg kicker. She’s an excellent striker who tends to get stronger as the fight goes on. Pena has excellent takedowns, ridiculous ground and pound and has improved striking. But more than anything, her mentality is of a fighter. She will not quit.” Watch the extended preview from last week’s FS1 UFC POSTFIGHT SHOW here.

Plus, it’s a homecoming for one of the UFC’s best, as No. 5-ranked welterweight and Denver-raised Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone (32-7, 1NC) fights No. 12 Jorge Masvidal (31-11). The No. 7-ranked heavyweight Andrei Arlovski (25-13, 1NC) and No. 10 Francis Ngannou (9-1) square off, while Alex Caceres (12-9, 1NC) and Jason Knight (18-2) open the main card with a featherweight battle.

The three-hour UFC FIGHT NIGHT PRELIMS on FS1 and FOX Deportes begin at 5:00 PM ET and feature six bouts. Veteran middleweights Nate Marquardt (38-16-2) and Sam Alvey (29-8, 1NC) collide. The No. 4-ranked bantamweight Raphael Assuncao (23-5) takes on No. 7 Aljamain Sterling (12-1), while Bobby Nash (8-1) fights Li Jingliang (11-4) in a welterweight tilt. Henrique da Silva (12-1) battles Jordan Johnson (6-0) in a light heavyweight scrap. Plus, Eric Spicely (9-2) and Alessio Di Chirico (10-1) tangle in a middleweight fight. Marcos Rogerio De Lima (14-5-1) and Jeremy Kimball (14-5) open the PRELIMS with another light heavyweight bout.

Saturday’s coverage begins on FS1 (4:30 PM ET) with the FS1 UFC FIGHT NIGHT PREFIGHT SHOW hosted by Grisham, with Cormier, Cruz and Waterson. The action wraps up after the main event with the FS1 UFC FIGHT NIGHT POSTFIGHT SHOW on FS2. The FS1 UFC WEIGH-IN SHOW takes place on Friday, Jan. 27 (7:00 PM ET) on FS1 with the same studio crew.

On Wednesday (9:00 PM ET, FS2), UFC TONIGHT hosts Cormier and Florian preview FOX UFC FIGHT NIGHT and interview Shevchenko about her second straight headliner.

On the popular podcast Fight Society, host Damon Martin interviews headliner Shevchenko, as well as Cerrone, Masvidal and Sterling. It’s available on iTunes and Soundcloud. Follow @UFConFOX on Twitter for live updates throughout the #UFCDenver fights this Sunday.

For notes, coverage, bios, photography and more, visit the FOX UFC page on FOX Sports Press Pass.



Jan. 25


Jan. 27

Saturday, Jan. 28 5:00 PM ET FS1 UFC FIGHT NIGHT PRELIMS FS1 / FOX Deportes


*All programs also available on FOX Sports GO.

Kansas City Chiefs v Green Bay Packers

2017 NFC Championship Game Delivers 46.422 Million Combined Viewers on FOX Broadcast Network, FOX Deportes & FOX Sports GO

NEW YORK, NY – FOX Sports’ exclusive presentation of the 2017 NFC Championship Game between the Green Bay Packers and Atlanta Falcons Sunday afternoon registered a 24.8/45 household rating/share with 46.005 million viewers on the FOX broadcast network, according to fast national figures released by Nielsen Media Research. Yesterday’s contest is up +3% over last year’s NFC Championship Game (vs. 24.1/37) and is +1% better than last year’s average audience (vs. 45.739 million viewers) for the Arizona Cardinals and Carolina Panthers. Combined with FOX Deportes (91,000 total viewers) and FOX Sports GO (326,000 average minute audience), Sunday’s NFC Championship Game delivered 46.422 million viewers.

Sunday afternoon’s Green Bay vs. Atlanta contest opened with a 19.5/40 household rating/share (33.897 million viewers) at kickoff and peaked to an impressive 26.5/47 (50.004 million viewers) at 5:30 PM ET.

FOX’s four NFC Playoff matchups in 2017 averaged a 22.2/40 with 40.758 million viewers, up +1% over last year’s three-game average on FOX (vs. 22.3/39 with 40.352 million viewers). Excluding this year’s Saturday divisional game, FOX is up +11% over last year’s audience delivery (44.672 million viewers vs. 40.352 million viewers) on a like-to-like basis.

FOX Sports GO registered its second-best authenticated NFL game ever with over 4.1 million stream starts (+129% vs. 2016), 67 million minutes streamed (+137% vs. 2016) and delivered an average minute audience of 326,000 which is up +126% over last year.

FOX Deportes’ coverage of Sunday’s Packers vs. Falcons matchup delivered an additional 91,000 total viewers to the telecast.

Jeff Gordon

NASCAR Champ, FOX Sports Analyst Jeff Gordon Talks About Getting Behind the Wheel for ROLEX 24 at DAYTONA

Four-Time Cup Series Champ Returns to Iconic IMSA Endurance Event Citing ‘Unfinished Business’
FOX Sports Offers Twice-Around-the-Clock Coverage of IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship Season Opener

CHARLOTTE, NC – FOX Sports opens its coverage of the 55th running of the ROLEX 24 at DAYTONA on Saturday, Jan. 28 (2:00 PM ET) with a familiar face serving as one of the drivers behind the wheel of the new No. 10 Konica Minolta Cadillac DPi-V.R for Wayne Taylor Racing. Four-time NASCAR premier series champion and current FOX NASCAR analyst Jeff Gordon returns to the iconic endurance race for the first time in 10 years, joining co-drivers Max “The Ax” Angelelli and brothers Ricky and Jordan Taylor for the twice-around-the-clock event at Daytona International Speedway.

Fresh off a driver-change practice that left him “bruised and sore all over,” and in FS1’s Charlotte-based studio preparing for the 2017 FOX NASCAR season, Gordon talks about taking on the challenge of the grueling event and what the future holds for him behind the wheel:

FOX SPORTS: How did this opportunity come to fruition and why the Rolex 24?

GORDON: “It goes back to 2007, when Wayne Taylor and I got together and I did the Rolex 24 that year. After that race — it was a fun experience — but I felt like there was a little bit left on the table. I didn’t have a great experience in the rain, I had to get out of the car early and we finished third. I’ve just always felt there was some unfinished business there, but it takes a big commitment to do it right and I wanted to do it right. So, I thought (another run in the Rolex 24) probably wouldn’t happen while I was still driving the Cup car.

“Wayne and I stayed in contact and maintained a friendship and he knew I’d like to do it again someday, so, when I announced I was stepping away from the Cup car, it wasn’t long after that that I got a call from Wayne saying, ‘Hey, would you like to come back and do it?’ The really cool part that he was holding onto at that time was that Cadillac and Dallara were building this new prototype and the series was moving to these prototype cars, and that got me extremely excited. I’ve always wanted to race a car that’s like this — exotic looking, performs just unbelievably — but I also knew I needed to get enough time in the car. It was important for me to get enough time in the car in November and December and January.”

FOX SPORTS: Describe the experience of your test sessions behind the wheel of the new Cadillac.

GORDON: “I drove the (WilliamsF1) Formula One car back in 2003 and I’ve always said it was the most awesome experience of just pure driving, because of what the car was capable of doing — more than I think my body was capable of doing. This is the closest thing that’s come for me, in terms of how aggressive you can brake the car, how quickly it stops, how much downforce it has through the higher speed corners. It’s been a really, really fun experience. At first it was a bit overwhelming because the steering wheel has a lot of buttons on it, there is a lot of technology involved and I’ve had to learn how to be prepared for the race and tune the car from inside. That’s been a big steep learning curve for me.”

FOX SPORTS: Is there anything left on your “bucket list” as a racer?

GORDON: “I keep saying Le Mans is out there. We’ll see how this goes. I think it would be a very cool race to do, but at the same time it’s different than Daytona. Daytona, you can get on the track in December and January and then you have the tests and practice. I hear Le Mans is not quite like that, so it might be something that never happens, but it’s certainly out there. I think if this experience goes well, it definitely opens up some doors, because let’s be honest, driving ovals pretty much my whole life, until you have some success or show what you are capable of doing in this type of a car, people don’t really take you seriously.”

FOX SPORTS: Fellow Cup Series champion Tony Stewart recently announced a very aggressive 70-plus race schedule following his NASCAR retirement … any plans to do anything similar?

GORDON: “I don’t want to go do a full season or as many races as Tony is doing. I don’t plan on getting in any midgets or sprint cars, but I will say, watching the Chili Bowl, it’s hard not to get the bug. I certainly want to go TO that event, but I don’t think it will be behind the wheel. Tony has a skillset that I’ve always been impressed with, being able to hop in a lot of different cars and show speed and win and be competitive.

“I actually read an article that someone sent me the other day from 1988 or ’89 and that was me back then. I was hopping in everything and anything and doing well. As I got to the Cup Series, I made a commitment to myself that I was going to stick with one series, put all my energy into it and be the best I can be at that. So, that sort of molded me as to where I am today – and if I’m going to do something, I am going to be all in and I want to put myself into position or in a situation where I am contributing to the team in a way that we can win.”

FOX Sports offers multi-platform coverage of the ROLEX 24 at DAYTONA, which kicks off the 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season (all times ET; schedule subject to change)

  • Saturday, Jan. 28 – 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM (FOX broadcast network, 3 hours)
  • Saturday, Jan. 28 – 5:00 PM to 10 PM (FS2, 5 hours)
  • Saturday, Jan. 28 – 10:00 PM to 11:00 PM (FOX Sports GO, 1 hour)
  • Saturday/Sunday, Jan. 28-29 – 11:00 PM to 1:00 PM (FS2, 14 hours)
  • Sunday, Jan. 29 – 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM (FS1, 2 hours)
  • Note: The entire race airs live on FOX Sports GO with FS1 authentication

Brian Till hosts FOX Sports pre-race programming, with Greg Creamer, Calvin Fish, Tommy Kendall and Till sharing time in the booth and Justin Bell, Chris Neville, Matt Yocum and Jamie Little reporting from the pits.

For bio information and photography for Gordon and the FOX Sports broadcast team, please visit FOX Sports Press Pass. To follow the ROLEX 24 at DAYTONA on FOX, please visit FOX Sports Motor.

Twitter: @Rolex24Hours @FOXSports @FS1 @JeffGordonWeb @JustinBellTV @GregCreamer13 @BrianTill19 @CalvinFish @TommyKendall11 @MattYocum @ChrisNeville84 @JamieLittleTV

Hashtag: #Rolex24

Dallas Cowboys v Atlanta Falcons

FOX Dominates Divisional Playoff Weekend

Sunday’s Packers-Cowboys Thriller is the Most-Watched NFL Divisional Playoff Game Ever
FOX Sports is Enjoying its Second Most-Watched NFL Postseason

NEW YORK, NY – While the Atlanta Falcons and Green Bay Packers emerged as winners on the field during last weekend’s NFC Divisional Playoff Games, FOX Sports dominated in the television ratings. Last Sunday’s game between the Packers and Dallas Cowboys, in which Green Bay kicked a last-second field goal to earn a trip to this Sunday’s NFC Championship Game on FOX, is the most-watched NFL Divisional Playoff Game ever, averaging 48.522 million viewers, according to Nielsen Media Research. Additional highlights from the weekend are below:

  • Packers-Cowboys drew a 26.1/46 household rating/share and is the highest-rated NFC Divisional Playoff Game on any network in 20 years, since Dallas-Carolina on FOX on Jan. 5, 1997 (27.6/49).
  • Sunday’s game is the most-watched telecast of any kind since Super Bowl 50.
  • Packers-Cowboys is up +24% over last year’s Seattle-Carolina Divisional Playoff Game on FOX (vs. 21.1/42 and 36.683 million), which aired in the early window, and up +11% over last year’s Pittsburgh-Denver AFC Divisional Playoff Game (vs. 23.6/41 and 42.953 million) which aired on CBS in the comparable window.
  •  Sunday’s game opened with an already huge 19.8/40 with 34.345 million viewers and grew to an enormous 32.3/52 with an astounding 62.434 million viewers from 7:45-8:00 PM ET as the Packers came away with the win in the closing seconds.
  • The Packers and Cowboys also set records on FOX Sports GO, marking the most-watched authenticated NFL game ever on the platform.
  • The game had 73 million minutes streamed, 5.7 million stream starts and 1.3 million unique streamers, plus a 363,058 average minute audience – a FOX Sports GO NFL record.
  • Packers-Cowboys is the second most-watched authenticated event ever on FOX Sports GO, trailing only Game 7 of the 2016 World Series.
  • Saturday’s NFC Divisional Playoff Game between Atlanta and Seattle, in which the Falcons routed the Seahawks to advance to the NFC title game, delivered a 16.2/32 household rating/share and was the highest-rated event of the day.
  • Seattle-Atlanta is the third most-watched NFL game on FOX Sports GO with an average minute audience of 208,000.

Additional highlights on FOX Sports’ coverage of the NFL Playoffs include:

  • Through three games, the 2017 NFL Playoffs on FOX are averaging 38.984 million viewers, which is +3% higher than last year’s two-game average (vs. 37.805 million).
  • With that +3% increase, FOX is the only NFL network to post year-over-year audience gains for the Playoffs.
  • This year’s NFL Playoffs currently rank as FOX Sports’ second most-watched NFL postseason ever through the first three games, trailing 2015’s average of 39.331 million by just -1%.

The NFL Playoffs on FOX continue with the NFC Championship Game between the Atlanta Falcons and Green Bay Packers on Sunday, Jan. 22. Coverage begins at 1:30 PM ET with FOX NFL KICKOFF, followed by FOX NFL SUNDAY live from Atlanta at 2:00 PM ET. FOX Sports’ postseason coverage culminates with the network’s exclusive live presentation of Super Bowl LI from NRG Stadium in Houston on Sunday, Feb. 5.

FOX Dominates Divisional Playoff Weekend (262 kB, last updated February 2017)

Kate Abdo Joins FOX Sports

Acclaimed British Broadcaster Assumes New Role as Full-Time FOX Sports Host on Jan. 18 during FA Cup Coverage

LOS ANGELES, CA – Acclaimed British broadcaster Kate Abdo joins FOX Sports full-time as host for the network’s portfolio of elite, world-class soccer. The announcement was made today by John Entz, President of Production, FOX Sports.

Abdo serves as host for a multitude of soccer shows and events including Bundesliga, FA Cup, Europa League, 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup and the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Abdo assumes her new role today when Plymouth Argyle faces Liverpool in the FA Cup third round replay at Home Park at 2:30 PM ET on FS1. Two days later, Abdo hosts the return of Bundesliga as Freiburg takes on Bayern Munich on Friday, Jan. 20 at 2:00 PM on FS1.

“Kate Abdo is one of the most respected journalists in the business, and we are delighted to welcome her to the FOX Sports family,” said Entz. “Her vast experience and global knowledge will add tremendous value to our outstanding soccer roster, which now includes two of the most accomplished soccer hosts in this country in Kate and Rob Stone.”

Abdo is no stranger to FOX Sports, as she played a key role in FOX Sports’ historic multi-platform presentation of the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada, serving as host of FS1’s Emmy-nominated, WORLD CUP TONIGHT.

“I’m extremely excited to relocate to Los Angeles to be a permanent part of the FOX Sports team,” said Abdo. “I love the energy and professionalism with which FOX Sports covers soccer, and their commitment to the game is second to none. From my past experience in Vancouver, I know first hand I’ll have a fantastic team around me; I feel privileged to have the opportunity to work with such a talented group of individuals. It’s a new continent and broadcasting landscape for me, but we all share the same passion for the game, and I can’t wait to share that with the U.S. viewers.”

Abdo began her sports broadcasting career with German TV station DW-TV before transitioning to CNN in 2009, where she covered multiple soccer events including the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. Abdo made her mark at Sky Deutschland as lead anchor and face of the channel’s Sky Sports News program before moving to Sky Sports in the UK in 2014. Throughout her career, she has conducted notable interviews with some of the world’s biggest soccer stars including Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Pep Guardiola and Manuel Neuer. Abdo also hosted the FIFA Ballon d’Or ceremonies in 2014, 2015 and 2016, during which she presented Cristiano Ronaldo with his third and fourth awards as the world’s best player and Lionel Messi with his fifth.

Born in England, Abdo speaks fluent English, Spanish, French and German. She studied at universities in both the UK and Spain, graduating with honors and earning a degree in European Languages.

Kate Abdo Joins FOX Sports (194 kB, last updated February 2017)